Articles Posted in Breath Test Results

For anyone who believes that driving a motor vehicle in New Jersey after taking a drink or two can’t possibly have any long-term impact on one’s future, just look around sometime. Drinking and driving, while perhaps not as prevalent these days as in decades past, is still a significant and ongoing issue according to most safety advocates, local and state police, and the Garden State’s legislature. As long as traffic accidents, fatal or otherwise, can be tied to drunk driving, it is a near certainty that New Jersey’s police departments will continue to be vigilant for potential DWI or DUI offenders.

But getting back to the impacts that a drunken driving conviction can have, these can be much more than a simple fine, a few points or a period of license suspension. In fact, if you don’t believe that a drunk driving arrest (and subsequent guilty verdict) can affect your life, please consider that for many people it can and does — on a regular basis, we might add. As accomplished New Jersey civil and criminal trial attorneys, my colleagues and I know of numerous instances where a person’s livelihood or career has been adversely affected by a DWI or drug DUI conviction.

My law firm has a great deal of experience defending hard-working people from all around the Garden State; individuals who believed that they were unjustly accused — but also those who know that they can hardly afford the secondary effects of even a single drunk driving offense on their record. For many accused DWI-DUI offenders, the monetary costs of a drunken driving conviction can pale in comparison to the potential professional consequences down the line.
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According to news reports, Olympic athlete and champion swimmer Michael Phelps put training on the backburner after his second, and most recent impaired driving arrest up in Maryland. Based on news articles, 29-year-old Phelps decided to put his swimming career on hold in order for the 18-time gold medal winner to go through a six-week in-patient drug rehabilitation program, which he stated would allow him to get the help he believes he needs to “better understand” himself.

The incident that led to this latest DUI arrest occurred in Phelps’s home town of Baltimore when the famous Olympian was pulled over by police for an apparent traffic violation on Tuesday. During the traffic stop, patrolmen suspected that the man was inebriated. After administering several of the standardized field sobriety tests, which Phelps reportedly failed to perform successfully, officers took the Olympian into custody. At police headquarters it was allegedly determined that the man had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.14 percent, which is almost twice the legal limit in most states including New Jersey.

News reports around the internet suggest that Phelps was concerned about this latest DUI, which is likely why he opted to sign himself into a comprehensive rehab program. Based on those reports, his voluntary admission into the program at Octagon means that Phelps will more than likely miss the first United States Grand Prix swim meet in Minneapolis this coming November. As for the balance of the scheduled Grand Prix events, all five of those take place in the first part of 2015.
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For those individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of the law, that is, a motorist who has been arrested for a drunken driving offense, the immediate issue at hand is often trying to locate a competent DWI-DUI attorney to represent oneself against the local municipal prosecutor who is pressing the charges against him. To put it in simple terms, if your turn in the DWI barrel has come, now is the time for action, not later.

As Garden State drunk driving attorneys, my colleagues and I have a very good track record of defending motorists who have been charged with some kind of impaired driving. Whether these accusations involve the consumption of alcohol or the use of legal narcotic medications, or even illegal substances, the need for a qualified legal professional is always a priority. Let it be said at this juncture that my firm in no way condones any kind of impaired operation of a motor vehicle, be it a car, commercial truck, motorcycle or watercraft. From our point of view, the best defense is a good offense, and the best way to avoid a DWI or DUI is to avoid drinking or taking drugs any time one expects to be driving on New Jersey roadways.

As recognized experts in the field, my legal team gets a lot of questions from prospective clients who are just beginning to learn about the intricacies of DWI law. In the interests of edifying our readers, we feel that learning something now about drunk driving defense may come in handy in the future, especially if someone finds himself in a difficult situation involving a drunk driving arrest.
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Most anyone who has been formally charged with driving under the influence of alcohol here in the Garden State is probably familiar with the way in which local or state police obtain evidence of intoxication, that is, the use of a breathalyzer machine to determine a driver’s blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC. For many people convicted of DWI, the machine most popular with law enforcement agencies across New Jersey is the Alcotest 7110 manufactured by Draeger Industries.

This particular BAC detecting tool, was first put into service more than 10 years ago. For anyone who has attempted to fight a DWI charge by calling into question the accuracy of the Alcotest device, it may not be a surprise to hear that a 2008 case heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court resulted in ruling that held the Alcotest 7110 to be scientifically reliable (State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 [2008]).

It could be said that ever since the police began using the first breathalyzer machines, some drivers have likely wondered if they, too, could measure their BAC levels before getting behind the wheel of a car or truck. The problem even into the 21st century is that the breathalyzer machines used by the police may be portable, but they are hardly convenient devices to carry on one’s person state. Still, having a personal device that could warn a motorist that he or she is legally drunk is something that many people want to have – and do have now, thanks to smartphone technology.
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As experienced DWI defense lawyers, my law firm understands how many drivers who are accused of DWI can be quite nervous about the serious consequences they may be facing following a drunken driving arrest. It is important to note, however, that some instances of drunk driving may be much more damaging for one person than for another. In fact, a DWI conviction — or even simply an arrest for alleged DWI-DUI can severely impact some individual’s future career opportunities.

Commercial truck drivers come immediately to mind when the topic of intoxicated driving comes up. But other people, not just professional drivers, can suffer the aftereffects of a DUI conviction in many ways. The question of trust, employee safety and company liability are all serious issues that companies, both large and small, must consider when an employee is found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Like it or not, the complications of a DUI-DWI arrest and subsequent conviction can have long-term effects on many New Jersey drivers.

We were reminded of the havoc that a DWI conviction can have on some individuals just a short time ago when we read a news report of a Bayville woman who was taken into custody by Toms River police after she allegedly slammed into a fire hydrant with her car early on a Friday afternoon. Apparently, the 50-year-old woman had recently been hired as a babysitter by a local woman to take care of her son at home. Based on police reports, the officers stated that the babysitter had been discovered drunk at her employer’s home earlier that day.
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Making the decision to fight DWI or drug DUI charges in the Garden State can be fraught with much anxiety and many questions. As experienced trial lawyers, my colleagues and I have defended hundreds of people over the years against all manner of civil and criminal charges. Every month we meet with dozens of New Jersey motorists who have been accused of intoxicated or drug-impaired driving, with the intent to have those charges reduced or dropped altogether. We know that the trepidation many people feel walking into a courtroom is completely normal, but it should not prevent you from fighting for your rights.

As Bergen County DWI-DUI attorneys, we believe that taking a proactive approach to protecting your legal rights can pay off in the end. My legal team here at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall, is highly regarded throughout the state of New Jersey, not only because of our seasoned and expert defense attorneys, but also because of the results that we obtain year in and year out. When we prepare a client’s defense case, we endeavor to exhaust every avenue while thoroughly investigating the details of the arrest, as well as presenting a comprehensive legal strategy as a challenge to the prosecution’s evidence.

It goes without saying that law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey have a dim view of motorists suspected of DWI or drug DUI. Similarly, our state’s drunk driving laws provide for some very harsh penalties for those drivers who are found guilty of violating the DWI-DUI legal statutes. Quite simply, a motorist is considered to have been driving under the influence in New Jersey if his or her blood-alcohol concentration (or BAC) is 0.08 percent or more. Penalties associated with DWI-DUI are also based on the BAC measurement determined at the time of the arrest.
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When it comes to out-of-state drivers who are arrested for DWI or drug DUI here in New Jersey, it is important to remember that New Jersey and almost every other state in the nation participates in what is known as the “Driver License Compact,” or DLC for short. Briefly, the DLC is an agreement between 45 individual states and the District of Columbia, which allows the non-resident state to report any traffic-related conviction to the administrative division of the offending driver’s home state. In short, if one’s home state has a statute or equivalent law for an offense committed here in New Jersey, it will be treated as if the violation took place in the state where the driver resides.

A related agreement, known as the “Non-resident Violator Compact,” is observed by 44 participating states, which in essence safeguards the rights and privileges of non-resident drivers when operating a motor vehicle outside of their home state. For example, when a Garden State motorist is driving in a participating state, this interstate agreement ensures that the driver will have the same rights as the resident drivers of that state if he or she is arrested for drunken driving, drug DUI or other related impaired driving offense.

Under the non-resident agreement, if a motorist is charged with a traffic offense or other serious moving violation, he or she has the protection of due process. This also means that a New Jersey driver must comply with the terms of the member state’s traffic citation as ordered by that non-resident state, and any failure to comply can result in license suspension here in the one’s own state.
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The odds of receiving a drunk driving summons in New Jersey are not as slim as many might think, especially in cases where a driver may be returning home from a night out with friends and there is some alcohol in the driver’s system. Of course, one of the more tried-and-true ways to avoid a DWI arrest and related charges is to not get behind the wheel of any motor vehicle when one has had a couple of drinks, or more. At the same time, it is not unheard of to see motorists who have not had a drop of beer, wine or hard liquor end up being arrested for some kind of impaired driving.

As Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my legal team knows that the easiest way to find out whether one will be suspected of driving while intoxicated is to either get into an accident or drive in a (supposedly) careless or reckless manner. Even a simple vehicle equipment violation can open the door to scrutiny by a local police officer or state patrolman. Frankly, it doesn’t take much to get the attention of a law enforcement officer, no matter where one drives.

From the standpoint of the law, a motorist can be served with an impaired driving summons based on any number of alleged offenses, including consuming alcohol prior to hitting the road, ingesting an otherwise intoxicating substance, or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs or even legal, and doctor-prescribed, medications.
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Considering the zealousness with which New Jersey law enforcement pursues drunken drivers, it’s not hard to imagine that local prosecutor’s offices are equally dedicated to convicting accused drunken drivers. With that in mind, it is important to remind anyone who has been charged with an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense that consulting with a qualified DWI-DUI defense attorney is often a good idea.

Our law firm serves the residents of New Jersey in counties such as Bergen, Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex, among others. My colleagues and I know the ramifications involved with a DWI conviction — even on a first-time offense — not only in terms of the financial impact that may await a defendant, but also the potential social stigma attached to a drunk driving conviction. This is in addition to possible jail time, as well, though with the assistance of a skilled drunk driving defense attorney the odds of serving time behind bars is greatly reduced.

Even with the potential penalties hanging over the head of a motorist accused of DWI or drug DUI, quite a few drivers may still wonder whether or not hiring a New Jersey DWI lawyer is worth the trouble. This is because many drivers who are facing a DWI summons may simply consider the battle already lost once the charges are lodged against them. As experienced trial attorneys, we must say that there are numerous arguments why individuals should consider fighting a drunken driving charge.
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While not as common as in-state traffic stops, more than a few Garden State residents get caught every week by police in nearby states for any number of traffic violations. Although a speeding ticket or citation for a vehicle equipment violation may not weigh heavy on the mind of some individuals, being arrested for drunken driving — whether her in New Jersey or somewhere out-of-state — can cause one to seriously consider the present and future implications of a potential DWI or drug DUI conviction.

It is a fact that as a licensed driver here in New Jersey, a motorist is required to obey the traffic laws and rules of the road here, as well as in other states in which one operates a motor vehicle. The sharing of DMV information between law enforcement agencies across the country has made out-of-state violations just as relevant as if they occurred in one’s own home state. This means that even if a New Jersey driver violates a traffic law out-of-state that he or she will still be subject to penalties, points and license suspension within New Jersey.

For reference, there are two interstate agreements that affect drivers when operating their vehicles in a state other than their own. The first is known as the “Driver License Compact,” which is an agreement between 45 of the 50 states in the Union, as well as the District of Columbia, that governs certain traffic violations and license suspensions for non-residents. Essentially what this means is that when a motorist is convicted of a traffic violation in a state other than the one where he or she resides, the non-resident state will report that conviction to the appropriate agency in the motorist’s home state.
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